On May 9th, I will be celebrating my 2nd anniversary of sobriety. How did I do it?
Resolve & Purpose
When I first became sober two years ago, I was unsure how I was going to accomplish abstinence. I did not need medical intervention, but I was struggling with controlling alcohol. Rehab and extended treatment were going to be a last resort. I decided to give this “AA thing” a shot and to supplement that with individual counseling.
One thing I’ve gained from my 12 Step group and from other resources is a sense of resolve and purpose. I now aspire to be a changed person. I appreciate the value in being a changed person, i.e. different than what I was in my drinking days. I am convinced that it is possible to become a changed person.
I used to drink, in part, because I craved for my life and for my situation to be different than what it was. I abused alcohol as a remedy for stress, anxiety and pain. This became a habit. I became addicted to alcohol. This is a powerful force and one that was going to progressively bring more and more misery.
I was caught in a vicious cycle of work, suffer, drink, relief, suffer, and so on. I felt like a slave or as if I had a parasite inside me with an insatiable appetite. Once again, this is a powerful force that took a hold of me.
To counter this force requires resolve. It requires an equivalent and opposite force to live another way. This other way involves a heartfelt reflection on priorities, values and purpose. It requires taking stock of my life in an honest, uncompromising way. For me, striving for virtue and connection has replaced striving to get drunk.
This new way of life is like a foot path. The end result for me is not a destination. To be on the path is the end result. Right now, right here at this point in the universe, I am on a different path than I was. This new path, or way, is what I consider to be my higher power.
To be a changed person is to be connected. I gradually withdrew from life as an active alcoholic. I am now committed to change and it requires work. I am a creature of habit, so it is easy to slip back into a routine of complacency.
Each day, I try to ask my higher power (the new way) to keep showing me the way. I try to be mindful of my character flaws so that they don’t get in the way of my usefulness to this world. I try to meditate and find ways to stop my thinking. Keeping my side of the street as clean as possible is important.
Most of all, drinking is no longer an option for me. Thankfully, I no longer crave the feeling of intoxication and I don’t need that first drink.